Newcastle punk favourites Trophy Eyes today released a new single, after its premiere on triple j radio last night. “Hurt” is the first track we’ve heard from the five piece since the release of the incredible Chemical Miracle.
“Hurt” is surprisingly bouyant, and it has taken many listens to process that it is indeed Trophy Eyes. The same Trophy Eyes that screamed “Who the fuck’s gonna miss me!” in “Miracle” and the same Trophy Eyes that deliciously assaulted us in the introduction of “Rain On Me”. Even in the clearer and more sedate moments that Trophy Eyes have offered us recently (such as “Breathe You In” or “Daydreamer”) they’ve still been heavy in contemplating death and mortality or an ache of loneliness. So what’s going on with “Hurt”?
“Hurt” is just so surprisingly beautiful for Trophy Eyes, with an incredibly catchy and anthemic chorus and a vocal style we’ve not come across before. “Hurt” is so easy to listen to that you might not even notice what’s going on lyrically: Those same themes of contemplating death and isolation still exist here.
“I’ve been standing on the edge all night
wondering if I can fly”
“Hurt” could be seen as a love song of sorts. It’s not romantic, but it’s the raw experience of someone with suicidal tendancies or depression being honest with their lover. They don’t feel they can easily express their inner situation with without upsetting them, but the thoughts and feelings still exist (“And it only makes you cry when I tell you what I’m thinking / It’s always on my mind / That empty feeling”). Having someone important in their life hasn’t stopped them from feeling or thinking these morbid things (“Do you think that I can touch the sky before the pavement paints me dead?”).
At the bridge the focus of “Hurt” turns away from a recounting of how they feel and toward a different possibility for them, and we get some more familiarity with the aching vocals that John Floreani shares in this section.
“Help me, I need a reason
Save me, stop me from leaving”
The entire song is beautiful and touching; being aware of how they feel but also being aware of their lover, while also not knowing if that’s enough to change anything for them.
Though on a surface level “Hurt” is catchy and doesn’t hand you a platter of anger or fire that you might expect from Trophy Eyes, if you feel beyond the prettiness and lightness of sound, there is still a lot going on emotionally. I’m extremely curious to see where the band are going by way of their sound from here.